In order to surround ourselves with partners and friends who help our growth and liberation rather than hurt it, we need to ask ourselves these questions over and over again throughout our lives…
Is this person good for me?
Is this person good for me at this point in my healing journey and according to what I need in order to thrive and feel fulfilled?
Am I in right relationship with this person considering what they seem (and have shown me they are) capable of?
For me, there are three must-haves for healthy, intimate relationships (whether they be romantic relationships or deep friendships). This knowing came from my experience with dating (and as I’ve curated my own “village”) and has proven invaluable to me over the years.
The first must-have is compatibility. This piece is so important (as we all know in romantic relationships), but if we are going to include a person in our innermost circle, we also need to reassess whether we are truly compatible with someone in our values and our lifestyles.
The second must-have is chemistry. We don’t necessarily think of chemistry as important when it comes to friendships, but when you have natural chemistry with someone, things feel easier. There’s energy and fluidity between you. It doesn’t feel like work to be in relationship with this person if there is innate chemistry. That’s what we’re going for in friendships as well as romantic relationships, ideally.
The third must-have is timing. This was an obvious one in the dating world, as some people are out there just trying to have a good time, and others are looking for their life partner. Timing also has to be right in friendships. Sometimes we have more bandwidth, time, or energy for courting and investing in a new friend, and sometimes we don’t. Sometimes we just don’t have a whole lot to give, and it’s not personal. It’s about mis-matched timing.
Just as most of us aren’t taught how to date in healthy ways, most of us aren’t taught to court new friends in ways that are good for us (and feel good!). But there are loads of skills out there that can be learned, many of which can lead us to our people and a sense of true belonging much more quickly and less painfully than the insecure early relating that’s been normalized.